Tourists of today are looking for more adventurous kinds of holidays. They want more action and excitement than can be had from vacations of old. The “thrill” of being the first to put a towel on the best poolside beach lounger doesn’t cut it for these intrepid travellers. They want more and Mallorca’s tourism sector is taking steps to lure them in, giving more options than ever.
Sure, there will always be those who just want to lie on the beach, read a book and have some peace and quiet. They are encouraged to do so and will always be made to feel welcome. But as the downfall of Thomas Cook highlights, those tourists and their type of holidaying comes with a price.
The per person spend of the all-inclusive visitor is comparatively low. Therefore, more tourists are necessary to reach the economic targets of previous years. Keeping up the pace comes at the detriment of the environment, and this is what Mallorca is trying to avoid.
The sophisticated voyager of today wants to have fun, to be sure, but their definition of fun tends to include experiences. Cycling or hiking tours, golfing holidays, gastronomical get-aways, wine-tasting excursions and cultural day trips are more in line with the prevailing idea of what people want from their precious time off.
Where to Go
The Tramuntana range is 90 kilometres of fun waiting to be explored. A €2.3 million investment funded by the Sustainable Tourism Tax in 2017 helped to make improvements that promote sustainable tourism. The “UNESCO world heritage site” now has information points dotted along routes, paths have been tidied up and a renewable energy project has been proposed. The aim is to showcase this natural wonder and bring more tourism into the centre, taking pressure off the beaches, especially in the high season.
Mallorca Sustainable Destination
Promoting quality sustainable tourism and the “Mallorca Brand” is on the lips of almost everyone in the know. Some entities going the whole mile and are putting their money where their mouths are.
For example, the Mallorca Tourism Foundation has earmarked a staggering €750,000 in grants to promote a new kind of tourism. The kind that leaves the outmoded all-inclusive beer-cation version back in the 90’s where it belongs.
They are offering up to €120,000 to entrepreneurs looking to attract tourism in seven strategic segments. These are Sports Tourism, Meetings, Incentives, Congresses & Events, Nature, Luxury, Activities, Cultural Tourism & Heritage and Gastronomy.
Some of the island’s private companies have already committed to this new breed of sustainable tourism, as well. Hotel chain Iberostar, for example, is part of the responsible tourism movement. Their “Wave of Change” programme was created to protect the oceans. The plan has a three-pronged approach. They have eliminated the use of single-use plastics at their hotels, promote sustainable fishing and are taking steps to improve coastal health.
Additionally, countless companies are springing up with a focus on this type of responsible tourism. From WWOOFers, farmers who exchange room and board for help picking fruit and vegetables on organic farms, to restaurants who have zero carbon footprint, choices for the conscientious are growing every day.
The government has steadily been implementing laws to create a more sustainable tourism model since the late 1990’s. Measures such as the Cladera Acts, which required new hotels to have 60m2 of compulsory green space per client. Modernisation plans have been systematically put into place. They require hotels to have certain standardised equipment and quality levels. Finally, they worked to diversify the island’s reputation by highlighting unique cultural, environmental, and natural aspects.
As the call for sustainability in tourism grows, Mallorca will need to keep pace in order to keep an edge. It’s early days, but so far, things seem to be heading in just the right direction!